Guardianships are a significant tool to help a family member or friend that may not be able to make health and legal decision on their own. Guardianship can even be an important part of the process of getting a family member or loved one the care they need. However, the process and powers involved are far from simple, as a guardianship is a fundamental change in rights for the person who falls under the care of the guardian, which a qualified trusts and estate attorney could explain. You can find more information on the basics of guardianships on this page, but having an experienced Tempe guardianship lawyer on your side throughout the process can help you understand your case, walk you through the best next steps, and bring about the best possible outcome for you and your family.
What is Guardianship?
Simply put, Guardianship is the process of a friend of family member requesting a court of law and judge to give that person legal authority over another person’s welfare. A guardian takes over the role and many of the responsibilities of a parent for someone who is unable to make everyday life decisions for themselves, known as a “ward.” The ward may also forfeit some of their rights and privileges, including voting and driving, as part of the process, depending on the case. Guardians are expected to act either in “substituted judgement,” making the decision that the ward would make if they had the ability to do so, or in the best interest for their ward, exercising reasonable care, diligence and prudence when making decisions for the ward. The guardian tends to be a family member of the ward and is appointed by the court who oversees the case at hand. A knowledgeable attorney in Tempe can explain what is involved in a guardianship.
How to Determine the Need for a Guardian in Tempe
Guardianship cases can involve many different types of scenarios. For example, a guardianship may be helpful for wards who are elderly with memory-related diseases, individuals with mental disabilities and/or special needs. A guardianship may also be helpful to assign a caretaker and legal decision maker for children/minors until they reach adulthood. For senior citizens who have memory-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia or those who have mental disabilities, a guardian can help them navigate daily life, maintain their personal security, and protect the ward from harm or exploitation. For minors, guardians may be appointed in the event of the child’s parents passing away or being deemed unfit to act as guardians. A diligent lawyer could study a specific case and advise on whether a guardian is necessary for a particular ward.
Process of Attaining Guardianship
The process begins when a prospective guardian, known as a petitioner, files a motion with a court and notifies the prospective ward’s family of the case. Once the court proceedings are underway, the ward receives a court-appointed attorney on their behalf, and an independent investigator is assigned to the case to determine whether the ward in question needs a legal guardian. The court will then determine whether the ward is incapacitated (whether they truly are in need of a guardianship), if the petitioner has a history of success providing for the ward, if the plan that the petitioner is proposing is sound, and any red flags in the petitioner’s history. Once these are determined, the parties are heard, and then the decision about the guardianship is finalized. An experienced attorney in Tempe could support the prospective guardian throughout the case.
Call a Tempe Guardianship Attorney Today
Guardianship can be a complicated process, since an individual’s fundamental rights are often called into question. If there are multiple petitioners for guardianship, or if someone objects to a person becoming guardian, then the proceedings can become even longer and more complicated. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a knowledgeable Tempe guardianship lawyer on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Brandon White for a free strategy session today,